Entries Tagged 'Greg Neitzert' ↓

Sioux Falls City Councilor Stehly puts out Robocall about the conflict of interest with the new proposed auditor

What I find interesting is that we seem to be in such dire straits that we have to hire her immediately at a 5:30 special meeting that is about funding for the Rose/Lotta neighborhood.

Why didn’t the chair of the audit committee, councilor Neitzert, first put out a press release last week announcing that she was his recommendation, then wait for a regular meeting in May to appoint her? She already has a job with the city, would it hurt for her to wait a couple of weeks so the public can do a little research on the candidate?

This is exactly why Neitzert is ramrodding this through, hopefully to go under the radar of the public before they can see her real qualifications. He learned well from Mayor Bowlcut & Bucktooth. Push everything through quick before the public realizes you are screwing them over.

Greg, if Mrs. Nelson was truly qualified, wouldn’t you have proudly announced your recommendation to the public in a press release before the council agenda came out on Friday? Seems you have your doubts . . .

Commending the Mayor for what?!

Councilor Neitzert in his bizarre attempt to swat down councilors Stehly and Starr for their resolution to make sure the Events Center Campus Book Club meetings remain open, he offered an amendment praising the mayor and the group for deciding to OPEN their meetings, at last night’s city council meeting.

Huh?

First off, the meetings should not have been closed to begin with, if any amendment should have been offered it should have been for censuring the administration for closing the meetings. Even councilor Brekke said that state open meeting laws are a bare minimum of what should be open, or as she said a ‘Starting point’. Local government should go above and beyond those standards.

Neitzert’s amendment was obviously offered to try to make Starr and Stehly’s resolution irrelevant. Councilor Soehl who attends the meetings said that they really haven’t decided how the open meetings will be conducted yet because they are uncertain how they will take public input.

Huh?

State law requires public input at all open meetings, so there is no debate on how you will ‘take public input’. It’s just a matter of when, which most likely be at the end of the meeting.

Stehly and Starr gladly supported Neitzert’s amendment in the end (they knew they had to, to get it to pass, which it did).

Some councilors feared that this would set a precedent on how these kind of task forces would operate, I think that is a good precedent, not bad.

OPEN = Good, CLOSED = Bad.

Neitzert also bragged about how the annexation meetings were held at Carnegie with ample public input. Remember, that was NOT the original intent and after Councilor Stehly, the public and ‘the blog’ complained that the meetings were going to be held in the middle of the afternoon at the DT library where people had to feed meters that quickly got changed after several property owners complained about the meeting situation. Maybe we should ‘commend’ the annexation task force for changing those meetings also. LOL.

 

Sioux Falls City Councilor Neitzert’s unfinished business

Last night during the City Council meeting there were quite a few accolades going towards Greg for his work on updating the Audit Committee ordinance. I would agree, he has put a lot of time into it.

But over the past year Greg has failed to follow through with a number of things he had told me at one time he was ‘working on’ only to find out from other councilors he dropped the issues.

The first one was overturning Rolfing and Erpenbach’s horrible ordinance that would require runoffs in council races. As I understand it another councilor took up that and it will be coming soon to repeal the ordinance and move it back to getting a plurality (34%).

The other was Downtown noise ordinance changes and a possible study. I haven’t heard a peep about this for well over 6 months. It is pretty obvious to most that the Downtown noise levels are a lot higher then the rest of the city (just with the trains alone). This seriously needs to be looked at with more development downtown and the Levitt Shell going in.

So why has Neitzert dropped the ball on these things? I’m not sure, but I have a feeling a few ‘elites’ in the Downtown development community got to him. Not sure why he backed off of Rolfing’s horrible ordinance.

Are Developers paying too much in Platting Fees? Absolutely NOT!

If anyone has been paying too much for NEW infrastructure and development, it has been the tax payers of Sioux Falls. When the 2nd Penny sales tax was raised to a full penny over a decade ago to fund infrastructure expansion, the promise was developers would put in 40-60% into that fund in platting fees. That hasn’t happened, not even close. In fact, taxpayers at one point were putting in over 10x more into that fund then the developers.

Well apparently some developers are now crying the platting fees are too much (about $20K per acre on vacant lots in undeveloped areas). Sioux Falls City Councilor Greg Neitzert talked about it in a recent post on his Facebook page. He seemed to be sympathizing with the developer because they used the tired old excuse that they pass those prices to the consumer of the new development. Well duh. The consumer is getting brand new sewer, water, and roads, why shouldn’t they pay the cost? How is charging me extra in sales taxes fair? What do I get out of it except higher taxes and water/sewer rates?

In about 50% of US cities with populations of 25K or more they charge the developer a 100% of the cost of new development infrastructure, so current users are not subsidizing new growth. This makes sense, because as I have often argued, new growth without a plan to pay for it, makes no sense. Slow growth that is properly funded is fiscally responsible to taxpayers. When developers don’t have enough workers to build their developments, that should tell us that maybe the ‘growth’ isn’t needed. Who are you building and expanding for?

I think we should eliminate platting fees all together and have developers instead pay for the entire cost of new infrastructure. If the NEW development is really truly needed, it will pay for itself. That’s just common sense.

Jon Michael’s Forum with SF City Councilors Neitzert & Selberg

   

They are separate interviews;

Dec 10, 2018 – NEITZERT

Dec 10, 2018 – SELBERG

Belfrage continues to rant about a ‘Nothing Burger’

It’s been a week today since the last city council meeting, and Belf continues to rant about how councilor Neitzert was ‘supposedly’ treated after last week’s council meeting. Now he is complaining to the mayor. I asked about this ‘incident’ since I was not there. I usually try to leave the meetings before the end so I don’t have to talk to the elected officials. I figure if they can’t talk to me during the public forum, why should I talk to them afterwards? What I was told is that a constituent, who knows Neitzert very well and has a good relationship with him ‘jokingly’ said to him he was a ‘rubber stamper puppet’. I guess he didn’t take it as a joke until this person laughed and told him they were joking. I’m not sure if this is how it played out, but I find it really hard to believe someone would ‘visciously’ get in his face and say this to him after the meeting. But since Batman didn’t die this week, Belf had to dig up some fake controversy.

The mayor, also continues to claim Stehly was ‘misleading’ the public about the $300 a month statement. It was a sarcastic figure of speech. Get over it already. The mayor also knows very little about how we have historically funded infrastructure projects, he claims we have always used enterprise funds. Not true, that change occurred during the last administration because the mayor at that time wanted to free up the 2nd penny to spend on pleasure palaces. Some have even claimed that Bowlcut & Bucktooth did more for our roads. Not true. Our roads were rated around 70% Good to Fair (which is a good rating) when he came into office. We had the same rating when he left.

TenHaken also claimed that our city employees (mostly directors) do things with the highest integrity. I have often argued their integrity is only matched by those who lead them. When the former mayor was lying about the siding settlement with the help of Fiddle-Faddle, why didn’t any of these city directors come forward and blow the whistle? Wouldn’t this be considered having integrity? I have said all along, it is very similar to the movie ‘A Few Good Men’. The city employees and mostly directors follow the orders of their leader, whether it is right or wrong. That is why I have had very little faith in how this sewer plant was ‘planned’.

Councilor Neitzert says people had ‘Moronic’ arguments against parking ramp

The the Sioux Falls City council got a presentation (FF: 33:0o) update on the Village on the River project at the informational meeting.

When talking about the costs associated with the parking ramp portion of the project, the city engineers(?) admitted that they had to put in a special foundation to support the ramp and hotel.

As we have argued from the beginning the ramp is costing more, not because of the number of spaces or size of spaces but because we would be footing the bill for the special foundation for the hotel.

Councilor Neitzert claimed that some people (I assume other councilors, blogs and the media) had ‘moronic’ & ‘dishonest’ arguments about cost per space and that it is costing more because of the special foundation.

Costs DOC: Site-costs

If there was anything ‘moronic’ about our arguments, it would be that Greg and the other councilors who voted for this boondoggle fiasco of a public private partnership didn’t listen to us when we told them the foundation was going to cost more due to the height and size of the hotel, not the parking ramp.

So who are the morons? Certainly not the councilors who voted against this project. They knew all along why it was going to cost so much, because the developer took us to the cleaners.

Also, councilor Brekke asks why the developer for hotel portion doesn’t have a performance bond. Funny, the administration didn’t have an answer.

Inside Town Hall, the water rate increase ‘The Fix is In’

City Auditor realizes job is boring, quits

Well, I’m not sure if that is the real reason, but I guess the rumor going around the council chambers is she didn’t do much. Well neither did the past auditor. I have known for awhile that she was considering leaving and there was a bit of ‘drama’ going on in the auditor’s office.

So essentially now we have an auditor-less auditor’s office, and the city councilor in charge of that office, Neitzert, has requested to go to ‘management training’ to deal with them.

They need to hire a real Hard-Ass that will take the city books and turn them upside down.

I’m finding out post Bucktooth & Bowlcut that not to many things have changed.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Neitzert believes we should ‘control’ salary data information

Well, I will give Greg credit on one thing, before he made the above statement, he admitted he would probably be criticized for it. Well, here comes your criticism.

During the informational meeting, Neitzert said that the recent compensation study done by the HR department should not have been released to the public ahead of time (before HR could explain it in an informational). Ironically, they haven’t released the full report (about 200 pages). Which IMO makes the presentation even more confusing, as several councilors pointed out. There wasn’t a breakdown of different departments (except that our Police and especially Fire Department are compensated well above other cities our size) and that Directors and Management (non-union) employees were left out of the study (which also confused some councilors). First off, that is because this study is for collective bargaining with the unions, which is the excuse HR Director Bill Da’Toole used for not releasing the full report to the public yet (if you give it to the public and unions at the same time what is the harm?) Secondly, management and director pay is pretty much determined by the mayor, and some goofy formula the HR department comes up with, which in turn makes it really up to the Mayor. That is how Former Mayor Coors Light & Olives was able to give corporate/executive like raises to his directors including ‘spiking’ the Finance Director’s pay by $16K before his retirement. I agree with councilor Stehly, city managers and directors are well compensated in our city compared to other cities.

But back to ‘controlling’ the salary data. First off, as I have had to remind our prestigious city council and past mayor, we own the government, the citizen taxpayer. We pay the wages of city employees for services they provide to US. It’s not the other way around. Talking about city employees salaries in a general sense when it comes to job description and not by name isn’t some top secret affair, especially after we paid $65K for the report. Besides, city employee’s salaries are listed HERE on the city website BY NAME (DOC: 2018-Wages), these are also not a top secret, because once again, we pay those wages.

The HR department should have just released the FULL report yesterday before the presentation, not only to the council, but to the unions, the public and the media, all at the same time. There really isn’t any excuse to ‘control’ salary data, it’s not like this is a Events Center siding report.